The curly haired boy is finally living up to all that potential I’ve been hearing people talk of for a while now. He killed the Big Bad Wolf, he’s giving great interview with his adorable accent and half smile, and he’s playing mighty fine tennis, despite the occasional incidents of “an expression in English.. I won’t say it… but I was doing it in my pants.”
What I love about him most, our Ernie, is that he belongs in a “Stars – Just Like Us” section.
I’ve always admired tennis players for their utmost tenacity and dogged commitment that they display. In fact, it probably is the one thing that’s drawn me to tennis as a sport to obsess over. The fact that these guys are our age, sometimes younger, show a talent and have spent so much of their free time on practicing, honing it, spending their money on it, missing out on time with their friends – well, it’s the sort of thing the rest of us should be jealous of, and I am, because I can’t show I’ve ever showed the same discipline in any of my passions.
Now let’s get honest about Ernie. The 22-year old Latvian is nothing like the epitome of a tennis player I’ve described above. The kid has had his on days and off days – off weeks and on weeks – off tournaments and on tournaments. I don’t think the pressure on him as what we will, tennis-journalism style, call the “highly touted youngster” helped him at all.
Ernie is like the naughty kid who doesn’t do something because mum told him to do it. He’s like the teenager who won’t clean his room until he decides it’s time. He’s like me, who won’t go the gym, or start writing my essay, or come on time to work because someone tells me to – I’ll do it when I bloody well decide i want to do it!
To quote the man himself,
“I just started concentrating more on tennis, treating it more like my job … Last year I didn’t take it as a job. It was more like a hobby. I didn’t have a system. Before I was practicing maybe three days and then going out with friends two days. I’m still not a big tennis freak … but I have a better system. My team is perfect now. It’s my coach, my fitness coach and my father.”
Ernie’s decided it’s time.
And listen to that gorgeous Slavic accent and look at that cheeky smile. Sorry, but this lady thinks she’s in love.